The Trade Centre Group will expand into the North with the opening of a sixth car supermarket site in Rochdale before the end of the year.
The Neath-based ID50 business will open its 1,000-car facility in a former Homebase store on Sandbrook Park – becoming the first Trade Centre UK store based on a retail park.
Trade Centre Group has also acquired a nearby ex-franchised dealership site to facilitate logistics and a state-of-the-art customer care suite as part of the creation of the new site.
The group has already begun recruiting over 100 staff, mainly in customer facing roles but also some technicians, logistics operatives and drivers.
Chief operating officer, Andy Wildy, told AM: “Apart from a handful of managers relocating to the region, we will be recruiting a fresh local retail team, with an emphasis on non-automotive experience.
“Our academy will train candidates from backgrounds such as call centres, retail banking and high street retail to become successful cars sales executives, business managers and finance administrators.”
He added: “Our blueprint for recruitment is fine-tuned, we have more than 300 customer facing employees in the business that had never been in car retail before joining Trade Centre and they are all enjoying huge success.”
The Trade Centre Group, which was founded by chairman Mark Bailey and 100% owned by the Bailey family, has expanded rapidly over the last four years, growing turnover from £77m in 2015 to £257m in 2018 and also more than trebling profitability to £21.2m EBITDA in the same period.
After expanding out of its Wales home territory in 2016 with the opening of a new facility at Wednesbury, the Trade Centre Group currently operate five car supermarkets, three in South Wales branded The Trade Centre Wales and two in the West Midlands branded Trade Centre UK.
Bailey said: “The opening of our first outlet in the North West is strategically significant as we ready the business to expand across the UK, if you put the pin in the map for a perfect North West location from which to retail cars you couldn't do better than being placed right at the gateway to Rochdale with superb accessibility for value-driven car shoppers in towns across the region, we are delighted to be developing the site.”
Trade Centre Group chief executive, Andy Coulthurst, said: “As a Rochdale lad myself, I am massively excited that we have been able to bring our unique concept to the town and I know that the store will be a huge success.
“We are armed with a record marketing budget to play out across TV, Radio, Digital, Outdoor and Print, ensuring that we are a household name in the North West within weeks of opening.”
Coulthurst added: “2019 is proving to be another year of growth and we are very pleased with the way that Quarter 3 is performing as we enter September.”